Rolling Solo. Worldbuilding with Random Tables

Sometimes you determine what happens with oracles and questions, or an established adventure or setting. Sometimes you use random generators.

And you can build your own random tables.

Some Tables for my Solo Game

Rolling Solo Basics. I'm traveling light so I have some dice, index cards, two decks of Concept Cards and a few story dice. I'm also playing screenless, in the evenings.

After the Green Cave Comrades first adventure (or massacre).

I knew they'd likely be exploring more of the surroundings and going to old ruins the hermit had mentioned.

I was trying to game without screens or books. So I decided I would have a go at making some random tables for my gaming needs.

Background Information

Pulling a card from Concept Cards: Epic Locations I got the Drowned World.

The Deluge from Concept Cards: Epic Locations

It leaves a ruins of landscapes. Adding the details from the card key points are

  • Random Destruction
  • Smart People Fled
  • Unpredictable Currents
  • Coral and Pearl
  • Water Spirits

Taking notes from where I'd recently visited (Poznan in Poland), my card has

Ruins of Pozstone.. A lake of ruins with lots of fish. A flooded town with a few pristine landmarks. Treacherous currents in the lake, influenced by Elemental Water, underneath is a sea with its own treasures. Notable landmarks include a historic keep/watchtower, a tea house and a bathhouse.

With any other details to be added as needed.

Encounters of Pozstone

Next was to make a random table of encounters for Pozstone which would fit on my index cards. A d10 was a good fit and has enough interesting options.

I didn't want detailed encounters, or simply "1d6 orcs" so I went for two columns. One for what they encounter and the other for the current situation.

I started with some sea creatures, settling for Sea Humanoids, Water Mephits, Water Cultists and Sea Animals

Goblins were added as an option, as the party had faced them as foes already. There wouldn't actually be any sign of goblins (or other results) in the ruins until they were rolled. Caves of Chaos Creatures was also an open ended option which tied in to a nearby adventuring site.

It seemed like the sort of place a Ranger might be seen, and also the Hermit and their Lion who had caused our party much trouble. Rounding it off was a Swamp Animal (it felt like somewhere crocodiles or giant toads would work) and Ruins Spirits, which is open-ended.

For the encounter situation I thought about what each encounter might be doing such as "Playing in the Water" for mephits or "Watching Something" for the ranger. With things appropriate for the ruins and a water-based locations.

Encounters of Pozstone

1d10Encounter CreatureSituation
1 Sea humanoids Exploring
2 Goblins With water-craft
3 Hermit and lion from the woods Guarding something
4 Water mephits With a treasure
5 Water cultists Playing in the water
6 Sea animal Resting somewhere dry
7 Caves of Chaos creatures Watching something
8 A ranger Stranded
9 Swamp animal Just arrived
10 Ruins spirits Studying a ruin

I'm happy with this table. It gives me an idea of what they'll meet and gives more life and possibilities to the ruins

Forest by the Keep

I also needed a table for the forest, as the group would be passing through there as well. Currently all that was known is it's a forest near the Keep where the ruins is, and home to the Hermit and his lion.

For ideas I pulled another location card, the Defender's Gate. This gave me ideas of local factions trying to establish a presence with patrols or possibly an outpost. It also mentions smugglers which could be interesting,

Local groups could include guards from the Keep, high elves, creatures from the Caves of Chaos or the Ruins of Pozstone. For typical forest creatures carnivore, herd beast, faerie and vermin all work.

From the Defender's Gate card situations could include patrols, alcohol, smuggling, guard duty and preparing defences. Then I added a more general forest activities and increased possible variety with a roll on the Ruins of Pozstone.

Defender's Gate card

Encounters of the Forest

1d10Encounter CreatureSituation
1 Guards from keep On patrol
2 High elves Drunk / alcohol
3 Caves of chaos Heading to Ruins of Pozstone
4 Hermit and lion Smuggling
5 Smugglers Guard Duty
6 Carnivore Eating
7 Herd beast Games
8 Faerie Preparing Defences
9 Vermin Hunting
10 Roll on Ruins of Pozstone Roll on Ruins of Pozstone

Hazards and Treasures of Pozstone

I wanted more help in running the Ruins of Pozstone so added hazards appropriate for a flooded town of ruins. Then as I was playing a more old school feel I added treasures and complications for them.

I wanted to add some plot and story elements in the tables where I could. There are many items tied to water and a couple to Pozstone. Some of the treasures are not physical items, such as "a new friend" and "lore of Pozstone"

I thought these could be used for exploration, to add an element to a location or use as an alternative to the encounter tables.

1d10HazardTreasureTreasure Complication
1 Mud Spellbook Guarded
2 Water magic Coins Warded
3 Portal A new friend Cursed
4 Carnivorous fish Water magic item Owned by a water spirit
5 Hostile spirit Water temporary item Fixed in place
6 Waves Watercraft Attuned to elemental water
7 Shifting currents Treasure of Pozstone Roll on Hazards
8 Alluring sea spirit Lore of Pozstone Alarmed
9 Rain A cache of mundane items Tied to the plot
10 Something floating Coral or pearl item Fish

Caves of Chaos

Last I made a simple table for creatures for from the Caves of Chaos. Using what I could remember from past experiences. They would be used in other encounter table so didn't need a situation yet.

1d10Encounter Creature
1 Goblins
2 Ogre
3 Hobgoblins
4 Sinister clerics
5 Gnolls
6 Orcs
7 Ghouls
8 Kobolds
9 Lizardfolk
10 Roll twice and combine

Finishing Up

Hope you've found this useful.

Have you made random tables for your solo games?

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